CHICAGO — (Wire Service Reports) – A one-out eighth inning home run by Javier Baez gave the Chicago Cubs the lone run they needed in a 1-0 National League Division Series victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday. Baez launched a 3-2 pitch into Wrigley Field’s left field basket to break open a scoreless pitchers’ duel between San Francisco starter Johnny Cueto and Chicago left-hander Jon Lester.
Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman allowed a two-out double to Buster Posey in the ninth, but got Hunter Pence to ground out to Baez at second to lock down the victory and claim a save. The victory gave Chicago a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series, which resumes Saturday night. Lester departed for pinch hitter Tommy La Stella with two out in the eighth. He gave up five hits, struck out five and walked none in an efficient 86-pitch outing for the victory.
Cueto, who took the loss, otherwise had a crisp three-hitter but topped 100 pitches by the eighth inning and closed with 121. He struck out 10 while walking none.
Indians 6, Red Sox 0
CLEVELAND — Corey Kluber pitched seven scoreless innings in his first start in 10 days because of a strained quad and combined with two relievers on a three-hit shutout as Cleveland blanked Boston in Game 2 of their American League Division Series at Progressive Field. The Indians got all the runs they needed in a four-run second inning that was capped by a three-run homer by Lonnie Chisenhall to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-5 series. Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday in Boston.
Kluber, in his first career postseason start, held the American League’s most prolific offense to three hits through seven innings. He was removed after walking the first batter and hitting the second in the eighth. Relievers Dan Otero and Bryan Shaw completed the shutout. Red Sox starter David Price came into the game hoping to reverse his dismal career postseason record, but instead fell to 0-8 as a starter and 2-8 with a 5.53 ERA overall.
Blue Jays 5, Rangers 3
ARLINGTON — Troy Tulowitzki, Kevin Pillar, Ezequiel Carrera and Edwin Encarnacion homered as Toronto made the most of its six hits to defeat Texas and take a 2-0 lead in their ALDS. The four homers allowed by Yu Darvish were a career high and matched a major league postseason high. He was charged with five runs and five hits in five innings.
The Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ, who won 20 games during the regular season, scattered nine hits over five innings but limited the Rangers to one run. He struck out five and walked one. Roberto Osuna, the fifth Toronto reliever, worked around a leadoff double in the ninth to earn the save. Game 3 is Sunday in Toronto. Ian Desmond had three of Texas’s 13 hits and two RBIs. Ryan Rua also went 2-for-3 as the Rangers were 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position in dropping to 1-11 in ALDS home games.
Dodgers 4, Nationals 3
WASHINGTON DC — Corey Seager hit a solo homer in the first and Justin Turner had a two-run shot in the third — both off Max Scherzer — as Los Angeles defeated Washington in Game 1 of their National League Division Series. Dodgers starter and winner Clayton Kershaw was also hit hard as he allowed three runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts on 101 pitches over five innings.
Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen came on with one out in the eighth and gave up a two-out pinch-hit double to Clint Robinson. Jansen struck out pinch-hitter Chris Heisey looking for the third out, and set down the side in the bottom of the ninth, striking out Jayson Werth to end the game.
Scherzer took the loss, giving up four runs and five hits in six innings (91 pitches) with five strikeouts. Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman each had two hits for the Nationals, who lost five of six games to the Dodgers during the regular season. Turner and Yasmani Grandal had two hits apiece for Los Angeles.